Cricut Sewing Blog Tour

This is a sponsored paid post courtesy of Cricut.  All thoughts and projects are my own!

I’ve got a new addiction folks!  Me and My Cricut Explore Air 2 are now joined at the hip.  I’m excited to share what we’ve made so far and a simple-but-oh-so-useful tutorial that just may change your life (ok, maybe not truly but it certainly will make laundry day a bit easier).

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I’m lucky enough to be joining the Cricut Sewing Blogger Tour.   Cricut generously set us up with EVERYTHING we’d need to create to our hearts content.  Our package included the Cricut Explore Air 2, the Essential Tool Kit, a mat multi-pack, and the most gorgeous assortment of heat transfer vinyl ever!

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You only get a quickie cell phone shot because I didn’t waste any time before digging in to all this good stuff.  My kids and I spent the evening perusing all the designs available on Cricut Design Space.  We had a stack of tees from good ‘ol Target just waiting to be spiffed up. The hardest part was narrowing down our choices- with over 60,000 images at our fingertips, you can imagine that the possibilities seemed endless.  It was so fun finding images to match their personalities and current obsessions (just look at all these cute flamingo images!).  My son was also able to easily create a graphic tee featuring his newfound favorite tv show, The Office.

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Let’s just say we sufficiently broke in our new machine and got comfortable with how easy it is!

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I had a little ah-ha moment a couple weeks ago.  How fantastic would it be to make vinyl size tags for all our handmades?!! My kids just might not put their tees on backwards anymore and Dad will be able to tell front from back too!  Our handmades are starting to be passed down to cousins and it would sure be nice for them to have a size inside.

After playing around just a bit, I knew this would be an easy, fun solution and save my sanity while sorting laundry and outgrown clothes too!  I’ve got an easy tutorial on how to make your own and all my tips I’ve learned in the process.

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Setting up your cut file is a breeze.  I found it easiest to type each number and letter in it’s own text box, placing at least one space between each character.  So all my S’s are in one text box, etc.  Try to pick a thicker font since we will be cutting these fairly small, you can always ‘BOLD’ a font to thicken it up.  I like them between 3/4″ and 1″ tall.  I spaced each line at least 1/4″ apart also.  Once you’ve got each line how you’d like it, select all and attach the lines together.  This will keep your spacing as is when you go to cut.  You can also easily duplicate your lines and groups this way too.

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For my file, I cut my kids current sizes, my current size, and my girls initials.  My girls wear the same size in many things and can be super picky about sharing all their things.  This helps me so much at laundry time when I’m sorting their clean clothes.  I put their initials on their ready-to-wear things too- think underwear, pj’s, you name it!

I cut each line with my portable trimmer then roughly cut out each character.  You’ll want to leave each piece fairly big- this will make it easier to stick it on your garment later.

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I found a plastic jewelry organizer that works perfectly for sorting and storing all my tags.  It’s clear and easy to see exactly what I’m looking for.

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I love how easy it is to apply these.  I always do one last good press when I finish a sewing project and that’s the perfect time to take the 20 seconds to apply the tag.  I love that they melt right into the fabric leaving it soft and smooth.  Hooray for no itchy woven tags!

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I have a few patterns that I use in multiple sizes depending on fabric and the fit I’m after.  I can never remember which size I used for each garment though and this will be a huge help later on when I go to remake a pattern.

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I think my favorite tag I did was this little hidden ‘Rock Star’ tag in my first ever denim project.  I feel like this was such a huge, fun accomplishment and wanted to celebrate that in my own little way.  I think it’ll be fun to do this in future projects- a little personalized tag for special makes.  Maybe that special first day of school outfit, Halloween costumes, Holiday dresses- it’s just a cute way to commemorate and remember why and when each piece was made.

There are so many amazing sewing bloggers joining in this fun tour.  I have been blown away by their creativity and my list of projects has grown with each post I read.  You won’t want to miss a single one!  Make sure you enter to win your very own Cricut Explore Air 2.  It’s been so fun having one of my own and I can’t wait for you to get one too!

Enter to Win a Cricut Explore Air 2 HERE

Week One: July 19th

Week Two: July 26th

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Thanks for joining us and thank you Cricut for making our lives easier, more colorful, and definitely more fun!

I was invited to participate in the Cricut Party Blogger Program Kickoff.

This experience is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the product listed above. I was provided the sample free of charge by the company or PR agency and I have given my honest opinion.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Fighter Tee by Handmade Boy Blog Tour

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Kelly at Handmade Boy is one of the busiest gals I know.  She’s also one of the kindest ladies in the sewing world so it didn’t surprise me one bit that her first venture into pattern making would be for charity.

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100% of the proceeds from the sale of the Fighter Tee go to benefit the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.  You can pick up your copy for only $5 and know that not only did you get a fantastic pattern but you did your good deed for the day!

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Tami from Love Notions teamed up with Kelly on this project and drafted this pattern so you know it’s superb!  It’s a loose fitting tee with color blocking on the sides and sleeves.  It makes it perfect for pattern mixing and upcycling!  It comes in sizes 2-12 and is a great unisex pattern.

This little guy absolutely loves this pattern.  I made the palm tee a few weeks ago during the pattern testing and he has worn it any chance he gets.  These will definitely be favorites this summer!

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This palm tree fabric was an old Girl Charlee purchase that we tie dyed last summer.  I love the summer vibe it has and this pattern was perfect for it.  The black side panels tone it down a bit and totally up the cool factor.

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The fabrics for this version came from Raspberry Creek Fabric.  I used the Shark Fin Wave paired with a solid navy.  Charlie has had his eye on these shark fins since he saw the strike offs and has been begging for his very own shark tee.  Of course, he had to wear his shark tooth necklace with it!

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I’m excited to be joining so many friends in spreading the news about this amazing pattern.  Make sure you check out their cute versions for even more fun inspiration.

 Monday: The Wholesome Mama, My Creative Room, Wild & Wanderful

Tuesday: Doodle Number 5, A Jennuine Life, Sew Sophie Lynn

Don’t forget to head over and get your pattern.  You can’t beat supporting a great cause and getting a darn cute pattern in return!

 

Suit Up For Summer Day Four

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We’ve made it to day 4- woot woot!  Have you learned anything so far?  Picked up a pattern or two?

Today I’m talking about the best part of swimsuit sewing- FABRIC!!  If you’re anything like me, you can never have enough fabric.

We have multiple fabric sponsors on the tour and I’m excited to get you guys shopping.  The Fabric Fairy has a HUGE selection of both spandex and board short fabric as well as everything you need to complete your suit- elastic, bra cups, linings, etc.

Peek-a-Boo Fabric Shop offers great custom printed fabrics and coordinates.  You can pick up your PAB pattern and sew it up in PAB fabric- oh cool is that?!

Simply By Ti has some great choices for swim cover-ups- think cozy french terry and bright crochet fabrics.

Boo! Designs is based in Australia and has an unbelievable selection!  Like I want to order a dozen prints right now!

Sash Fabrics is another custom fabric shop full of unique and fun designs!

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My family is all decked out in another of our sponsors latest designs- Raspberry Creek Fabrics!  I love that these fabrics coordinate so well together without us being too matchy-matchy.  When looking through the new line it was so easy to pair up each print to my kids personalities!

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The Sunset Palms were meant to be this kid’s.  He lives in subtle Hawaiian prints and this was just too perfect for him!  You can read more details about his suit in yesterday’s post.

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I’ve been dying to share this suit!! This sweet, sophisticated girl is rocking the Tropical Leaves swim print in a Lil Luxe Leotard Etoile.  I think this is the perfect pattern/fabric pairing!

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The simple silhouette really lets this print shine!

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I need one of these suits for myself ASAP!

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My little man NEEDED these sharks the minute he saw them.  I love the colors in this print and how easily they coordinate to so many others!  You can find his suit in yesterday’s post too!

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This sassy girl loves the bright colors of the Sea Floor print.  Paired with the Nautical Stripe it’s too cute for words!

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She’s wearing a Marilyn Vintage Suit from Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.  This suit offers plenty of coverage and so many cute options.  This simple view was fun to showcase these prints.

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She certainly loves it!

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I got another suit too!  This time I used the Nautical Stripe for myself.  I used the Edgy Top from George and Ginger.  It’s not designed as a swim top but with a few modifications it worked great!

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I lined the front and added cups and an elastic shelf bra.  I cut my pattern a size smaller and finished the neckline and arm with elastic cut barely smaller than the openings.  I like to serge my elastic on in the round to the wrong side of my fabric then flip it under and topstitch with a twin needle.  Super easy!

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I used the bottoms from the First Crush Suit from Rad Patterns.  The suit offers so many options and great coverage!

I love these stripes and the chance they gave me to play with the directions.  This swim knit is some of the nicest I’ve ever sewn with.  It’s nice and thick and has great 4-way stretch making it super easy for me to use it on the diagonal.  The matte finish gives it a very high-end feel.

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I also used coordinating Navy Board Short Fabric to make me a pair of Swim and Surf Shorts from Gracious Threads.  I love the fit of these and after making my little guys these were such a quick sew.  I love the extra coverage for chasing kiddos around!

Phew!  So…many…swimsuits!  Are you sick of me yet?!! Just one more day…

I’ve got to give a huge thank you to our good friends for letting us borrow their gorgeous backyard for these pics!  It was absolutely perfect!

Make sure to enter the giveaways for your chance to win some of these amazing fabrics from our sponsors with a ton of patterns too!

Head over to the other bloggers to see what they’ve been making too:

Hosted by Sew Sophie Lynn & Paisley Roots

Monday: Pear Berry Lane / Inspinration / It’s Liesel / Sewing For Four

Tuesday: Harper Lu / Call Ajaire / Stylin Stacy / Skirt Fixation

Wednesday: Sewing By Ti / Sewing With Sarah / Sew & Tell / Me Made

Thursday: Made By Melli / Life Sew Savory / That’s What She Crafted / Auschick

Friday: Rebel & Malice / EYMM / Stitching & Making / Lilliepawillie

Suit Up For Summer Day Three

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Welcome to Day 3!!  Please tell me you’ve been so inspired and are reading this while prepping to sew your very own swimsuit!  I’m really hoping that we can calm your fears and give you the confidence to tackle your family’s swimwear needs.

Today I faced one of my big fears- the dreaded sewing for a teenage boy!  I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

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Before I was brave enough to sew for big brother I got to sew for a much easier critic!  This little man was dying for a swimsuit out of this cool shark boardshort fabric from Raspberry Creek Fabrics (one of our lovely tour sponsors!).

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I used the Swim and Surf Shorts from Gracious Threads.  I hesitate to promote this pattern in my boy post since it’s drafted for girls in sizes 6 and up but I think these fit his little body well.  I absolutely love the construction and the bias goes on so smoothly.  I used store bought but there are directions to make your own.  I switched up the waistband to just be one wide casing after Brittney’s advice.  I also used swim mesh for the underwear liner inside- I might switch it up to regular swim fabric in the future just for more comfort.

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You know I like to involve my kids in as much of the sewing as I can and with this suit I gave him a handful of drawstring choices.  He shocked me with this choice but was very adamant on the coral cord (a trimmed up shoelace!) because it glows in the dark.  I tried to tell him that at five-years-old he won’t be doing very much night swimming but he was very insistent!  I love it!

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So little brother’s suit was a breeze- cut and done in about an hour.  This guys was a different story!  I used Jalie Boys/Mens Board Shorts pattern and am really proud and happy with the results.  He is too which is such a relief!  I love that I was able to easily modify these to his taste.  We cut about 4 inches from the hem (he’s almost 6′) and brought in the inner leg about an inch so the legs weren’t so wide.  He really likes the more retro fit and I think it suits him well!

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I have such a love/hate relationship with Jalie patterns.  I love, love that they come with so many size options in one pattern.  I could use this same pattern on the 5-year-old and my XL husband- you really can’t get that anywhere else.  I love how well they go together, the end product is always amazing and the finishings are fantastic!  That being said they are usually not my standard quick afternoon projects.  I know I need to concentrate and take my time to achieve a great looking garment.  The instructions are pretty basic (you can preview them before you purchase a pattern to make sure it’s something you want to tackle).  This is where my love/hate comes in.  I love the conciseness.  I tend to read the instructions one or two times through before I start a project and then just go for it, referring back to the directions only occasionally.  With Jalie, you can print the directions on just a couple pages and have them right next to you as you sew.  With this pattern though, I could have used a little more hand holding.  I learned a lot and these were constructed different than I have done anything in the past.  Not bad obviously, just different.

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Lucky for me, my sister came over and manned her coverstitch machine and I did the sewing and serging.  I don’t know what I would have done without her help and the coverstitch.   Almost all the seams are topstitched which can be done with a double needle on your regular machine too but that would mean a TON of switching back and forth between a double and single needle, or if you’re really precise, faking the look by running two single stitches side by side.    Even with the two of us, this project took a good few hours. Granted we were sewing with a lot of little helpers running around too 😉

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This awesome fabric is also from Raspberry Creek Fabrics.  You can find the coordinating navy also.  I can’t wait to share with you all our fun CLUB line suits tomorrow!

Looking for more boys swim patterns?  Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop, Titchy ThreadsLife Sew Savory, and Made By Jack’s Mum all offer them!

Have you entered the link up yet?  I’m loving what I’m seeing so far! You won’t want to miss out on your chance at the fun giveaways! (Giveaways are now closed)

Now go check out all the other amazing bloggers joining in the swim party:

Hosted by Sew Sophie Lynn & Paisley Roots

Monday: Pear Berry Lane / Inspinration / It’s Liesel / Sewing For Four

Tuesday: Harper Lu / Call Ajaire / Stylin Stacy / Skirt Fixation

Wednesday: Sewing By Ti / Sewing With Sarah / Sew & Tell / Me Made

Thursday: Made By Melli / Life Sew Savory / That’s What She Crafted / Auschick

Friday: Rebel & Malice / EYMM / Stitching & Making / Lilliepawillie

Raspberry Creek’s Newest Club Line

biggroup1 Raspberry Creek Fabrics newest CLUB line is here and now available for retail purchase.  It was so fun to sew up these gorgeous fabrics with a few of my favorite sewing buddies.  Of course we had to get our cuties together to show you all the goodness!

L-R: Kainara Stitches, Ammon Lane and Little Fish.

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My girls loved posing with cute Inara from Kainara Stitches.  Her mom Anna always picks the cutest fabric combos and I can’t get enough of this lil redhead.  These pretty watercolor florals are so soft and sweet.  Inara’s is perfectly paired with the mint dots.

Isn’t that stripe so pretty?!  I love mint and coral together!

The soft colors on this peach watercolor are so springy!  It’s even more gorgeous in person!

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How cute are these kiddos of Enjoyful Makes?!  Halle is adorable in her mustard/navy plaid.  The airplanes are every boys favorite!

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We also love the coral/mint plaid.  It pairs so well with the coral dots!

This watercolor stripe is a fan favorite.  You can’t go wrong with a grey stripe and bold flowers!  Seriously pretty!

I love all the different floral/stripe prints and how unique they all are.  This bold navy version is too cute on my girly.

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Make sure you head over to Raspberry Creek and check out the whole CLUB line.  Diana is busily printing away and adding prints hot off the printer.  Yes, that’s right!  I forgot to tell you all the best part!  RCF is now printing in house featuring fabrics milled right here in the US.  This CLUB line is printed on the softest, best quality cotton/lycra and french terry.

Stay tuned for more CLUB fabrics coming soon!

A Tie for the oldest

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This guy has all but disappeared from the blog.  At not quite fifteen he is almost as tall as his dad and totally too cool for mama made.  When he asked for a tie to match his sisters I was all over it!

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I used Purl Soho’s FREE Father’s Day Tie pattern for my initiation into tie making.  It was a simple to follow tutorial and a fairly quick project.  I used some lovely Cotton and Steel Les Fleurs quilting cotton.  The option to use quilting cotton for ties makes the possibilities endless!  I’m so excited to make more- ikat, florals, stripes…eek!

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My woven clothing labels made a perfect keeper loop!

In the future, he’s requested skinnier ties.  I will definitely trim the tail end skinnier too.  I used my machine to attach the lining pieces but next time I’m hoping to hand sew them per the instructions.  Overall though, I’m strangely proud of this make.  I’ve for sure made more difficult projects but I loved the new techniques and fresh possibilities this opened for both me and my son.  He’s on the high school soccer team and they all wear Sunday best to school the days of home games.  His dressy wardrobe needs a little sprucing up with the extra wear!  Challenge accepted 😉

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This is his, “Mom, you promised no photo shoots if you made me something” look.  I just couldn’t help grabbing these early morning shots before he headed to school!  He’s not as easily bribed with a piece of chocolate like his siblings 😉

Monaluna Simple Life Tour

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Gorgeous fabric gets me EVERY TIME!  When Gemia from Phat Quarters Fabric and  Kelly from Handmade Boy mentioned a tour featuring Monaluna’s newest fabric line, Simple Life, I jumped on board in no time!  Throw in a chance to sew for this kiddo and I was in heaven!

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I sewed up a Submarine Pullover from Shwin Designs for my man.  I used this incredibly soft poplin (available in the Phat Quarters Shop) for the main.  This fabric is quite possibly the softest cotton on the planet.  I would love a whole wardrobe for myself made out of it.  It drapes beautifully but still has a bit of weight making it great for so many projects!

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The hood is lined in the cutest bear fabric- Nature Walk, also available at Phat Quarters.  This color combo is so cute and stylish.  I really love that this line is so ideal for boys without being over-the-top.  It’s perfect for those of us eager to please our little guys without giving in to characters and crazy themed clothing.

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I’m anxiously awaiting spring and warmer weather and this hoodie is the perfect transition piece!  It works great layered over long sleeves for now but I also think it’ll be the ideal swim cover-up come summer too.

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The sleeves feature a button-tab detail that makes it easy (and stinkin’ cute!) to roll up the sleeves come warm weather.

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I made one small change to the pattern.  I used the pocket piece on the fold and cut two of them (it’s lined in the blue fabric).  I centered the pocket on the front and sewed the top and sides.  The bottom is caught in the hem band.  An easy hack and one my little buddy appreciates.

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There’s just something about a little boy in a hoodie!  The way it frames his cute face is just about all my mommy heart can handle 😉

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Make sure you head over to all the other blogs for tons of cute boy inspiration!

Monday:   Wild and Wanderful
For your chance to win one of three great prize packages make sure to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

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